How often is the Black Mamba encountered?

JNHall

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Further, your tracker is likely even more afraid of snakes than you are and is better able to see them, better eyes and he knows what to look for. If he jumps to the side avoid where he was walking.

Excellent point. Now keeping your PH awake in a blind to help spot trouble is another story :lookaround:
 

driehoek

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Don't worry. I live here for all my life and often help in the local clinic.My father in-law and settled here early 19 hundred. We don't see many Black Mamba and I have nursed I person bitten by one. The person is alive.
so what I want to say they are there but no seen much.When they encounter you they are usually in more of a hurry to get away from you than to attack you. The other snakes are there and they too get out of your way. Just ask your PH if he is prepared for something. Are you walking and stalking?
Good luck Iam sure you will be ok.
 

zenbear

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The last trip was our best so far. We only lost two trackers to mamba bites.
 

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The last trip was our best so far. We only lost two trackers to mamba bites.

Are you cursed man? That has to be the worst case of statistics I have heard of.
 

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Well I should have suspected something when I booked with "Black Mamba Safari" and an Kudu jumping over a skull and cross bones was their logo.
 

peras

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I have encountered quite a few black mamba,especially in marula trees,I dont know if it is a scientific fact but it seems like they like these trees.I had four rhodesian ridgebacks which attacked a 2.7m black mamba about three years ago,they all died within an hour after killing the snake,I hate it when my dogs kill snakes,somehow it always ends tragically at some stage.
 

classicsafari

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I have only encountered several over the years and particularly during wet season hunts BUT when you do you will find out how fast your Trackers are, even when within the back of the Toyota!
 

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when you do you will find out how fast your Trackers are, even when within the back of the Toyota!

..now that's the truth, for sure..sometimes they're even quicker than my Jack Russell's..and much funnier !
 

peras

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Now hide a dead snake underneath a bag or something and send them to fetch the item,then you realise how slow the Jack Russel and the Toyota is.
 

Upton O. Good

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Count yourself very lucky if you can observe a Mamba in a relaxed way. They are extremely interesting to look at. Hollywood and the media are big contributors to the bad name of a Black Mamba. The same as with the Great White Sharks in our waters. They are both pure perfection in what they do and it is not to see how many humans they can kill.
There are no snakes in the world more intelligent than a Black Mamba.
If you mess with one, you will only do it once. Never twice. If you encounter them or ever see them mating, it is one of the more impressive things you will ever see. They truly are beautiful.

Snakes, especially venomous snakes, are part of the allure of Africa. The danger and risk of walking through the bush heightens the experience and as long as you leave the snakes alone you are not going to be in danger. I've said it here before, guys walk miles to confront a herd of female elephants with calves to take a tuskless trophy and say that is great sport. Mention "snake" and they start into a panic attack. I would rather deal with the snake, elephant cows with calves are best left alone, in my book.
 

Capt. Purvis

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That is one anmial that it hope never to have an encounter with and if I do I hope that I see him first. I have seen several snake tracks but never saw one. A tracker told me that you need to always be aware of Snakes while in Africa. Just stay behind your tracker or PH and only walk behind them unless they tell you otherwise. If you are going to get Snake boots, Rocky Azteck are the most comftorable. I use mine all the time here in the Southern US. They have been discontinued but you can find them online. You will not need them in Africa but if they make you feel less jumpy take them so you can concentrate on your stalk. The locals have a saying. Africa is Not For Sissys.
 

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DOC-404

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A highly experienced and hugely respected PH, Tommy Ferguson, who happened to be my Grandpa as well, along with my Dad, taught me what I know about snakes. Now, after fifty five years in the bush (I was born in the bush), and many, many camp-fire and bar-counter discussions with other PH's, hunters, trackers and guides, the overall consensus is the fact that snakes frighten people most because you don't 'see' them..or you 'see' them too late. A black mamba, puff adder, zebra cobra or even a rock python won't scare the crap out of you if you see it up ahead and can take the necessary steps to avoid it, will it..? I've 'seen' many snakes over the years with no problems at all, I sometimes sit and watch them but, it's the three or four I didn't see first that scared the bejesus out of me..! Pop always used to say " better the snake you see, than the snake you don't.. " :biggrin2:
 

peras

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Thanks,read the link,now to get a new pup,and to catch a snake for training purposes:cool:
 

BRICKBURN

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.................. the overall consensus is the fact that snakes frighten people most because you don't 'see' them..or you 'see' them too late. .............. Pop always used to say " better the snake you see, than the snake you don't.. " :biggrin2:

Exactly! That unknown is what certainly gets me. Along with my total lack of practical experience and knowledge. Besides the fact that they hate the cold!! :)

I was just thinking of this same idea this morning after reading Fritz' post. Snakes are beautiful in pictures and as you note at a distance.

I would enjoy seeing them and taking pictures, with a very long lens.
 

PeteG

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Came across this black mamba a couple of years ago.
unfortunately it had decided to make the tree behind the bar/dining room and between the lodge offices a home!
we were having lunch with friends at their lodge and heard a whole heap of shrieking and shouting.
turns out as all the staff were on their way to their houses for lunch and they walk around the back of the bar/dining room and offices.
as the story was related to us in a very hurried half english half bemba mess, the small group had basically been split in two by this mamba and had enough of skidding around in the sand and decided that the rather large tree overhanging all the thatch was a much more hospitable environment.
well, once we had had a good gander at this 2.5m long serpent, Craig (the lodge owner) decided it could not stay as he was expecting a group of 16+ people including children that evening.
off he goes to the office and comes back with his 300wm!! yeah, not the shotgun, 300wm!
anyway, a couple of shots and the first 4ft of this beast came tumbling out of the tree, he had managed to severe its head from its body!

Definately not something i want to encounter more often!!!

Was trying to attach pics, cant get it right though!!
 

Maltrix

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Hi,
Last year I went to Namibia in November. On our first walk in the bush we encountered a black mamba (around 2 meters in length) after 20 min.....
I saw one more - and a "Boomslang" (not really sure how it's spelled, but a very green and quite poisinous snake).
I have been travelling Africa (non-hunting) for nearly 25 years, and seen a few poisonous snakes in my time, but in general you almost have to step on them barefooted (or brush them of the branches) to be in any kind of danger. They are very reluctant to spent their poison for "show" - so in 99.9% of the cases they will only bite if in danger or hunting. And it would have to be some snake (or a tiny hunter) to fall into the last category.....

Wear boots, watch out for "critters" in trees and bushes - and if you happen to see one: Stand perfectly still!
They will not attack anything that does not move.

I my experience you should focus more on the red wasps. I don't know them by any other name. They are BIG and their sting hurts A LOT (trust me, I know). They nest in the bushes and will attack if disturbed (so basically if the PH in front of you brushes the bush) - and they always go for the top of your head, or neck. So it goes like this:
First guy touch bush. Wasp comes out of nest. Wasp is very annoyed. Wasp attacks the next guy in line.

Hard to do much about, other than to keep an open eye - or if it's a 2:1 hunt, make sure that your buddy walks behind the PH - that'll keep you in the clear :)

Happy hunting. Namibia is a GREAT country for hunting
 

BryceM

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I haven't had any run-ins with black mambas, but a stupid cobra got my full attention one day. We were watching a nice herd of kudu move along in and out of the trees. After a bit of hide and seek we knew we had to really move quickly to get to a certain point before the kudu did. The guide took off and I did my best to follow his 6'4" self across the veldt. A minute or two into this game I watched him levitate straight up about 5 feet and straight sideways about 10 feet. Curious about the acrobatics, I looked down just in time to see a cobra that we had surprised. He was raised up with hood fully deployed and I swear he was hissing at me. By the time I was able to defy gravity my leg was maybe two feet from it. We moved off, he moved off, and we shot the nice kudu. I never really thought about it again until later that night. Just about then a full-body shiver went up and down my spine a few dozen times.

On that trip we saw three cobras and two puff adders. On the second trip we saw only a single puff adder.

Stupid snakes.

Amen to "Africa is not for sissies".
 

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